Japanese Gardens @ Tokyo

In this page I’d like to show you some Japanese gardens we visited to in this Summer.



●Kiyosumi Gardens●

There is a view that this garden was the site of the residence of the famous Edo Period business magnate, Kinokuniya Bunzaemon. In later years (1716 to 1736), it became the location of the Edo residence of the Lord of Sekiyado castle, Shimofusa-no-kuni (part of present day Chiba) and this is the period when the basic form of the garden came into existence.

In 1878, the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro, chose this property to use a garden for the enjoyment of his employees and entertainment of important guests. After the design and construction phases ended, the garden opened in 1880 under the name of “Fukagawa Shimbokuen.” In later years, the waters of the Sumidagawa were brought into the grounds to make the pond. Hills and waterless waterfalls were constructed and famous rocks from all over Japan were brought in to embellish the garden. The garden was completed in the Meiji Period and developed into a famous strolling-style tree-filled design centered around a large pond. On March 31, 1979 this garden was designated as Tokyo Metropolitan Place of Scenic Beauty.
In addition, there was a Tudor-style red brick residence designed by the English architect Josiah Condor on the grounds. This building was, however, destroyed by fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

(reference by http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kiyosumi/outline.html)






●Rikugien Gardens●

This strolling, mountain and pond-style garden was created based on the theme of Waka poetry in the 15th year of the Genroku Period (1702) by the shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi’s trusted confidante Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu.
This garden is a typical example of the famous gardens of Edo Period. In the Meiji Period, this garden became a second residence of the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro. Later, in the 13th year of Showa (1938), the Iwasaki family donated this garden to the City of Tokyo, and in Showa 28 (1953) it was designated as a special site of exceptional beauty and an important cultural asset.
The name “Rikugien” refers to a system for dividing Chinese poetry into six categories. This system also influenced the division of Japanese Waka poetry as well. Although the number six is usually read “roku,” in the case of the garden’s name, it is pronounced “riku” in keeping with the Chinese pronunciation of the word.

(reference by http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/rikugien/outline.html)

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●Kyu-Furukawa Gardens●

This garden was designed using the slope of the Musashino Highland and the contiguous lower area. The Western-style residence was built on a small hill. The Western portion of the garden was located on the slope and, on the lower level of the grounds, the Japanese garden was created. This property was originally the location of the residence of a famous Meiji Period notable, Mutsu Munemitsu. However, when his second son was adopted into the Furukawa family, it became the property of the Furukawa family (The buildings from the previous era no longer exist).
The currently existing western-style residence and garden was designed by the English architect, Josiah Condor (1852 to 1920), who, over the last part of the Meiji Period and first part of the Taisho Period designed the Rokumeikan, the Nicolai Cathedral, the historic Iwasaki western-style residence, etc., and made many contributions to the development of architecture in Japan. Ogawa Jihei, alias Niwashi-Ueji (1860 to 1933), a designer of Japanese gardens from Kyoto, created the Japanese garden renowned for its beauty that matched the level of the residence. The Furukawa garden is regarded as a valuable and typical example of the gardens of the Taisho Period. In 1982, the garden was designated as a famous site.

(reference by http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/outline.html)



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●Hama-Rikyu Gardens●

The Edo Period pond was a tidal pond that depended on the intake of seawater from Edo Bay. It had two duck hunting sites within the grounds. The garden is a typical example of the famous gardens of the Edo Period.
In 1654, the younger brother of Ietsuna, the 4th Tokugawa Shogun (Matsudaira Tsunashige, the ruler of Kofu) had part of the shallows filled in and built a residence on the reclaimed land that came to be called Kofu Hama-yashiki (Kofu “beach pavilion”). Later, Tsunashige’s son became the 6th Shogun, Ienobu, and this residence became the property of the Tokugawa family. On this occasion, the name of this residence and grounds was changed to “Hama Goden” (Beach Palace). From that time onward, various Shoguns made changes to the garden. The garden was finally finished at the time of the 11th shogun, Ienari, and has remained basically the same down to the present time. After the Meiji Restoration, the garden became a Detached Palace for the Imperial family and the name became the Hama Detached Palace. The Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II bombings caused a great deal of damage to a number of the buildings and trees and rendered the garden unrecognizable, but on November 3, 1945, the Imperial family gave the garden to the City of Tokyo and it became open to the public in April of 1946. On November 22, 1952, Hama Detached Palace Garden was designated a famous site as well as a site with high historical significance.

(reference by http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/hama-rikyu/outline.html)

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